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Recently, my phone was stolen but I managed to get a new one (this one) by claiming off my home insurance. It is the newer model of my stolen phone. I was expecting great things from my new phone, loads of extra features, an easier to use interface and text messaging that doesn't take you ages to write a simple text. Was I content with my new phone? Yes and no, read on.
Well, there is a vast improvement on the graphical side of the interface compared to my old phone. Easy on the eye graphics such as 3D icons and better resolution gives a clearer screen and makes using your mobile so much more fun. But graphics aren't everything. It is quite hard to find some of the features available on your phone, such as if you want to change your ringtone for example, without looking at its location in the manual it can take you some time to locate what you are looking for. If you ask me, all phones are like that, there should be interactive help on the phone itself or even a search function to find things more quickly. Its such a hassle sometimes, especially if you have lost the manual for your phone :). I'm not saying that its hard to find everything on your phone, just some of the settings such as the LCD backlight for example. All of the main features such as the Camera are easy to find as they are on what I would call 'The Main Menu', the place you are taken when you press the menu button on the phone.
The nine main features are:
2. Contacts List
7. Data Folders
< 1 > Settings
The place where you can change just about anything on your phone, you name it you can probably change it. You can change the LCD screen colour, where the shortcut button takes you on your phone (top right button when you switch your phone on, mine is currently set to Camera), display settings, alerts, keys, phone settings, clock, call service, call divert, security, network and if your not satisfied just change them back to default.
One of my favourite settings is being able to choose different LCD screen colours depending on whether you have a voice mail, a text message or a mobile call.
You can change the background image of your phone to any image that is currently stored within your phone. So you can take an image of your favourite poster and set it as the background image for the phone.
I mean, seriously, there are so many settings that you could play with the settings alone all day and still not decide which settings you want on your phone. Infact, I find it a little annoying sometimes because there are so many settings to look through that you just can't be bothered. I have only changed a few and left the rest alone.
< 2 > Contacts List (Phone Book)
Nothing particularly special here, just an ordinary phone book like any other modern phone.
You can create new contacts and the phone automatically stores them for you, I say automatically because on my last phone I had to actually choose where to store them, I had to give each new contact a number and if the number already existed it would ask if I wanted to overwrite the old contact. The disadvantage there is that you forget what numbers you have used, even if you use them in sequence so that is a simple change but a great improvement upon the old model.
You can enter the following details for each and every contact on your phone: First Name, Last Name, Home Num, Work Num, Mobile Num, Other Num, Home Email, Work Email, Other Email, URL, Title, Company, Note, Photo. You can also set separate ringtones for each contact so that you know who is phoning you before you pick up your phone.
You can also insert contacts into groups such as Family. You could put all the contacts who are your family into this group, it keeps organisation to your phone book and you can set ringtones for each group.
There are some other features to the phone book including checking how much storage space you have left for contacts, how your phone book is sorted (e.g. first name or last name).
< 3 > Games
I have to say, I am quite disappointed with the quality of the games that came with the phone, yes you can download more but they could have created some better quality games for the phone to begin with. Now this is just my opinion so maybe other people really like the games but to me the games are all about graphics without the gameplay and gameplay is so much more important to me.
The games that come with the phone are:
-Space War - basically a flying game where you shoot enemies to kill them.
-Rollerkid - You can choose from four different characters and you pull off stunts whilst roller blading along streets.
-Panko - A top view game where you can collect items.
-Crazy Cobra - A version of snake which really should be scrapped from all phones in the world. Its boring because the rules aren't the same and the speed is just too easy.
You can set your nickname so that when you get high scores on games your nickname is shown.
If you ask me, you will be downloading games as soon as you get your phone just so that you know you have some decent games on your phone to play with when your bored.
< 4 > Browser
Well, if you have used the internet and I'm sure you have if your reading this, then WAP on mobiles is nothing special. It costs a lot of money, takes ages to load and all you see is text apart from internet sites where you can download pictures. You can enter URL's to visit websites, bookmark pages for future viewing, set browser settings such as font size and colour priority. I don't use WAP because I'd rather use the internet on a laptop such as the one I am writing this opinion on or a desktop PC, much faster, better to look at and easier to use, cheaper too. Do not buy a phone for WAP.
< 5 > Camera
One thing that stood out straight away to me was the quality of the images that the camera took. They aren't very good even on the highest resolution. At least there are some features that are included with the camera to make up for the loss of quality. Features included are:
-A photolight to take pictures in the dark.
-Twilight mode so that night looks more like day.
-There are a few effects that you can add such as a sepia tone to your pictures.
-You can add frames to give a nice border to the pictures that you take.
-You can increase the resolution so that you can take images that spread over a wider area.
-You can set different capture modes, self timer for example so that you can stand the phone on a chair and it will take a picture within a few seconds. Great for taking group pictures with everyone included.
< 6 > Messaging
There are many settings that you can change for picture messaging and text messaging, I will not go into them here because they aren't that important and there are quite a few of them, you'll get bored reading if I do, they are not that important.
You have the usual inbox and outbox where messages are kept and where you can read them at and delete them from.
You can receive broadcast messages about different topics such as football for example or advertiser messages, I leave this off, its annoying to me. You can check your voice mail from the messaging feature too, I usually just dial 121 to find out if I have any messages.
You can create messages, many special characters are included and intelligent text is also included. I leave this feature off as it never guesses correctly what I want to type. You can choose a feature called SMS Chat, I have never used it but I think you will be able to chat through text messages more easily than just writing them, I'm not sure, maybe its cheaper to text this way but it means your only talking to one person at a time.
It takes some time to write a message on this phone. If the next character you wish to write is on the same key as the one you have just written you have to wait a second or two to type the next character. Believe me, its a long time.
< 7 > Data Folders
The data folders store many pieces of information in the phone, wallpapers, ringtones, pictures you have taken, themes for the phone, yes you can set themes. The themes basically change the colours of the interface of the phone. You can have blue, red, green etc. You can copy files from folders to other existing folders. That's all there is to data folders, the hard drive of your phone you could say.
< 8 > Organiser
There are a number of different options here such as the currency converter. Important for doing maths homework or if your on holiday abroad :D. I hardly ever use it.
You can create a digital business card on your mobile phone that holds all your data and distribute it over WAP or to other mobile phones, get your business known.
You can enter logs into a scheduler and set alarms to alert you of future events that are important to you. The scheduler has many future years included so you will probably buy a new phone before you run out of scheduler space.
You've got the all important calculator to tackle those difficult sums.
You can set the alarm to wake you up in time to go to work.
You can create voice memos to yourself that you can listen to in the future.
There are infrared options and Bluetooth abilities. Infrared allows you to connect to phones that are opposite and close to your own, you can even connect to laptops and desktops and download the information from your phone, backing up your data.
Bluetooth allows you to connect to phones within a ten metre circle. You both must allow each other to look through your phones. You can browse each others phones and download files off each others phones.
< 9 > Vodafone
This is basically a list of shortcuts to websites that can be accessed over WAP. Its a pointless feature that I really dont use very much as it costs money and is of no interest to me personally.
Its a good solid phone with many features and will do enough for many people. Its nothing special but its good enough for me. I only want a phone to be able to phone my mates and family and be contacted myself.
I have a pay as you go contract with Vodafone. The prices are cheap to other Vodafones but I'm not sure of how much and more expensive to other pay as you go services.
Not good for writing quick messages.
If your looking for a good size phone that's lightweight with many features and a nice looking interface that does enough for anyone who just wants to call other people and be contacted themselves then go for it. But don't buy this phone for its low quality camera, if your after a phone with a good camera, or even a video phone then this phone is not for you.
Because of my job I have been switching phones in a weekly basis and I have all the new models that come out or will come out in the market. Some phones made me smile, others made me laugh and a few made me fall in love. So when I saw the Panasonic GD 87 (also called GD88 in Asia) I was doubtful to review it. My first impression was that there is nothing flashy about it and that it looks just like any other clamshell phones that I have seen before. When I got hold of the silver-gray handset, I immediately noticed its slim and robust case. Weighing just 103 grams and measuring 97.5 x 49 x 23 mm the GD88 is light, handy and fits comfortably in my hand. The GD88 is a triband phone with integrated digital camera. It features a very bright color screen capable of displaying 65,535 colors at a resolution of 132 x 176 pixels. Opening the phone and putting it to camera mode makes the LCD act as a viewfinder. The center navigation key acts as the shutter button and pressing it up will give you a 2x digital zoom. You can add effects while taking a picture including twilight mode (for night shots), adding frames, negative shots and sepia mode. A range of editing options is available for stored images--brightness, size and format. Images can be stored in JPEG or PNG format. A nice feature when you use the camera is the file naming convention it is using. For example an image with a filename 09201940 means that the picture was taken on September 20 at 9:40 pm. This is much better compared to other phones that use an incremental file name in the ?IMG00001? format. The camera can also operate with the clam-shell closed. One of the features that I love about the GD88 is the personalization option. The sub-LCD display can be assigned colors for different events. You can set it to light up orange for receiving SMS, blue for incoming MMS and green for calls. I tried to push the GD88 to its limit, I uploaded different kinds of sounds
and audio files to see how many formats it is supporting, although it received .wav files it will not play it, it only supports midi files for ringtones. Also, it can only store up to 1MB of files. One of the flaws in the design of the GD88 is its inability to turn off the click sound when using the camera even if the phone is on silent mode, this means you cannot take pictures secretly. It also lacks earpiece volume and the hands free mode is no so convenient when in a public place. And unlike other clam-shell designed phones the GD88 does not allow you to answer calls by simply opening the flip cover, you have to press the answer button to receive calls, also closing the phone does not end a call. Overall, the Panasonic GD88 passed all my tests. It did not hang even once and for a phone released last year, it can still compete with newer camera phones launched recently.
Previous ---------- This is the forth Panasonic mobile phone I have owned! Before this one was the GD75, before that was the GD93, and before that was a PAYG (Pay As You Go) I can't remember which model number though. Ever since the first Panasonic mobile phone I owned, I decided to stick with them. The reason behind this is that they work, and they work well (even after being dropped a few times). What's this phone got then? ------------------------------- Well, it has an in-built colour camera, and a very high resolution colour screen (this seems to be of much better quality and clarity than any Nokia screen I've seen). It has WAP and GPRS (General Packet Radio Service - basically 4 times faster than WAP thanks to it having 4 receiving aerials), multi-colour sub-display (LCD on the outside - shows callers names etc), 5 way navigation key, self portrait mirror, polyphonic ringtones, alarm, calculator, world clock, currency convertor, and . . you can even set it to turn itself on and/or off at certain times of day! Looks ------ The styling of this phone has got to be the very best around. It's a clam-shell case in silver, very slim, and also very strong. The camera is in-built, so no messing around with clipping one on and possibly losing it! Call Quality + Signal Quality -------------------------------- The quality of voice on this phone is excellent, even in low signal areas. When it is used in low signal areas, it seems to find a signal and just grab hold and not let go. For example, I put this phone side-by-side with another on the same network, and the signal available on the Panasonic was far better. Games -------- There are two games in-built into the phone from new, and you can download new ones too. One of the built-in games is 'Herding Sheep' where you control this little sheep dog and chase sheep around, seems easy doesn't it?
Well, it isn't, because if you annoy the sheep when they're sleeping they head-butt you and you lose life! Where I got this phone on O2 contract, they had replaced the second game with Tetris, which isn't bad - if you like Tetris that is. Ringtones and Wallpapers ------------------------------ Ringtones provided are of good quality, and there are loads to choose from. You also have a melody creator so you can make your own. The wallpapers are good too, there are some really good photo's to choose from. Also, you can download Ringtones and Wallpapers free from a Panasonic WAP site called 'Panasonic Box'. Both Ringtones and Wallpapers are very good quality and fast to download using GPRS. If you're into F1 racing, there are plenty of wallpapers for you to download, this is because Panasonic are the main sponsors of the Toyota F1 team. Text Messages ----------------- Entering text couldn't be easier with T9 Predictive Text, just one button push for each letter! The phone stores an amazing 200 text messages too, so no need to keep clearing your inbox so you can receive more. Also is concentrated text compliant, so can send and receive text messages 4 times the length of a standard one. Media Messaging seems good too, although I haven't played with this much. Summary ----------- I think this really is the best phone around, and with prices slowly falling they are also affordable. Instructions were very clear and easy to follow, and Panasonic website is very good for support and information. Would recommend to anyone.
Being a techno-tart I always like to have the latest gadget / toy, and my mobile phone is no exception! Having owned my fair share of mobile phones, when I decided that I needed a new one it had to match up to the competition very well, and have features that weren't present on my existing mobile (a Sony Erricson T68i). I first saw the Panasonic GD87 when I went into my local Orange shop, something that I would not normally (I usually just get a new contract to save loads on the cost of the new phone). Immediate impressions where good. The looks of the phone are quite striking, a nice silver paint job, and a big chunky hinge that looks like it could support the entire England Rubgy team! Opening the phone impresses even more, with a huge display which can only be beaten by the big and bulky PDA phones. The display is a full colour unit with excellent resolution, making for a very clear and crisp display. Even without reading the manual I found it very easy to navigate through the menu system, and I found things in very logical places (for the most part anyway). The big thing that is noticable here is the speed. The menus appear with no hesitation at all, unlike the erricson T68i which often paused in between menus. Features wise its got almost everything - Polyphonic Ringtones, GPRS, WAP, Dual Band (although I'm sure I've read somewhere its Tri-Band??), Voice Memo, Voice Recorder (yes - it is tucked in the menus somewhere, but gets over the 4 voice memo limit), Picture backgorunds, E-Mail, MMS, SMS, in fact the list goes on. The main feature which is missing though is Bluetooth, but looking at competing phones none of them seem to have it and I only ever used it once on my T68i. The lack of bluetooth is not really a problem as it has an infrared port, and data cables are available for about £30 that do the job just as well (or possible better). Built into the camera on the flip down lid
is a camera. Whilst the quality is reasonable, it obviously can not compete with a real digital camera, but the thats not what its there for. The size and ease of use makes it ideal to capture those drunken moments when out on the town, and adds a bit of humour to MMS messages (and a fair bit of extra cost as well!). Having had the phone for a few weeks now I'm starting to learn how to use all the features, and believe me, there are a lot of them. It is pretty hard to find some of them though as the manual is pretty poor. Orange have a habit of reducing the manual a fair bit (it doesn't even mention the camera at all!), but having found the original Panaasonic manual on the internet I cant say I was impressed! Again, this isn't too bad a problem as the menu system is fairly easy to navigate and everything is at a fairly high level in the menu system so you dont have to go through 5 options to get the one you want. Sound quality is great, and the Polyphonic ring tones are excellent. The standard tones are ok, but it only took me a day to get fed up of them and download some of my own. This can be achieved by simply downloading a midi file. The only restriction you have is any file downloaded into the phone must 50k or less, and this is the case for sound, ringtones or picutres. Games, well there are'nt any really. Ok, i lied, there is one, but you only get the first 5 levels and after that you have to download the extra ones, and yes, you've guessed already, at a cost. Extra games are downloadable at a cost, but again you only get a few levels and then you have to pay for the extra ones. As far as I know the games are only available on Orange at the moment. The phone doesn't support JAVA either, so you are limited to the "in-Fusio" games. The battery life is, well, to be honest, poor. This might just be because I've gotten used to the T68i's seemingly endless battery (used to
last me 5-6 days between charges!), but with the addition of a car charger for those "oops, forgot to charge it last night" moments the life of the battery is bearable, and in fact it seems to be getting better, lasting for a couple of days now, but bewarned - use of the camera and on-line browsing goes through the battery at a fair old rate. My overall impressions of the phone are good, and is by far the best one I've had so far, and is as reliable as a ...... er...... very reliable thing! I'd give this phone a 5 except for the lack of games (and the cost of extra levels / games), and the rather short battery life.
The evolution of the mobile phone is personified in this little gem from Panasonic (of all firms). The Panasonic GD87 is the ultimate in sleekness, style and gadgetry. It's more than a mobile phone, it's been described as "...a complete communication tool..." It another snazzy clam phone and like the others allows text messaging , the normal talking, and along with the t100 a vibrant colour screen; but what else? A built in digital camera is what else, yes that's a clam phone with a digital camera.Take pictures on the move and where you like, with it's large display you can get in group shots, helped by it's self-timer.Key Features Dimensions: 97.5 x 49 x 23 mm Weight: 103g Volume: 89 cc Talk Time: 1.6 - 7.0 hours Standby Time: 75 - 220 hours Features Built-in Camera CMOS Camera 5 lux sensitivity Self-Timer Function Picture Editing 65,536-colour TFT Display 16-Polyphonic Ring Tones Clamshell Design 5 directional Navigation Key GPRS Class 8 (4 + 1 timeslots) WAP 1.2.1 WAP 2.0 Provisioning IrDA SMS Group Send SMS Chat 20 Preset Ring TonesMelody Composer (Mono tone) Voice Memo